The Spanish Mastiff is muscled and heavy boned dog breed with large chest and long legs. His head is also very large with strong jaws and loose lips. The eyes look pretty small on Spanish Mastiffs massive head and the triangular ears are hanging.
This is really giant dog breed with average height between 65-85 cms which is 26-33 inches and weight between 40-70 kgs, which is 88 to 150 pounds. The females are naturally smaller than males.
The body of Spanish Mastiff is covered by short and dense doublecoat. You can find this breed in many colors, most often they are in fawn, black, red, yellow, grey or brindle color. Spotted patterns are also pretty common.
I really like the temperament of the Spanish Mastiff. On the one hand they are amazing courageous protectors, on the other they are totally devoted and friendly with their family.
Its only logical, that this is protective dog, since their original purpose was to be the best livestock guardian. They just have the protective instinct in their genes. They are very alert around strangers – both people and other animals. They can be agressive, when they feel in danger.
When they are at home around their family and people they own, they tend to be calm and they tend to bond closely to their owners very quickly. They are pretty laid back dogs, very often they prefer to sit back and watch around the house. They are also smart, dignified, dominant and independent.
And their independent and dominant nature is the reason, why they are no pushover to train, even though they are definitely smart. They need strong leader who will show them what is expected from them. Patient and consistent training, just like early socialization is a big must with this breed.
There are approximately 24 000 Spanish Mastiffs living in Spain, especially in the mountain regions and this breed been named the national dog breed of Spain
It is believed, that the Spanish Mastiff is very old ancient dog breed, but their exact origin is unknown. They are likely descendants of dogs that were brought to the Iberian Peninsula by Phoenicians and Greeks over 2000 years ago.
Their purpose was to be amazing livestock guardian and for every 100 sheep, there was at least one Spanish Mastiff, who defend the flock from wolves and other predators.
The first Spanish Mastiffs breed standard was written by the FCI in 1946. It is possible, that the Spanish Mastiff played a role in development of other dog breeds like Saint Bernard or Dogo Argentino.
Health and Grooming
Spanish Mastiffs are pretty healthy dogs, especially for their size. But of course, just like all the giant dog breeds, they can suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia and some other musculoskeletal issues.
The average lifespan is between 11-12 years, which might sound as a short life, but there is not many dog breeds which weigh 60 kgs and live longer.
If you want to have happy and healthy Spanish Mastiff in your home, the exercise is important. I know, they kinda do look like a lazy dogs, but you would probably be surprised how fast they are. Daily longer walks are recommended for this breed, but do not over do it when they are little puppies, so you dont damage their joints.
The grooming is easy, they can take care about their short and dense coat by themselves. They do shed, so if you want to minimize the shedding, weekly brushing is recommended. Bath them only when its necessary or at the start of the shedding season in spring and fall. You should also check their strong nails to not overgrowth, and dont forget to check out their ears, eyes and teeth regularly and clean it.